WordPress vs. Drupal: Choosing Between the Two Platforms

Choosing whether to use WordPress or Drupal as a content management system can be a tough decision. Both are free and open source, meaning they’re developed by members of the community, and built on PHP and MySQL. They’re both versatile, powerful and popular tools for content creation that can create complex sites. So, the best CMS for you depends on your specific needs. Computer Services Unlimited clients who aren’t sure which CMS to use often have questions about this topic. So, here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

Ease of use

Just about anyone can learn to use WordPress. Its user interface is fairly intuitive and clearly lays out the various functions and customization options, and you can blog using a WYSIWYG editor.

While Drupal can also be learned, it isn’t for beginners. If you don’t have some experience with coding or can’t commit to learning the software, you may want to consider hiring someone who knows it to build your site for you. Computer Services Unlimited has started to see more requests to develop sites using Drupal.

Plugins and themes

WordPress has a huge library of plugins (tools that can extend your site’s functionality) and themes (which customize the look and feel of your site), many of them free, and its themes are easily customizable. Drupal has fewer free plugins—which it calls modules—and themes. There are premium plugins and themes available for both content management systems that you can pay for.

Design and support of a WordPress website is about 30 percent cheaper for Computer Services Unlimited than design and support of a Drupal website.

Security

Both WordPress and Drupal follow proper security standards and offer software updates to address any security issues. Additionally, Drupal provides security reports on its website. However, neither content management system is completely immune to security threats.

Millions of sites have installed WordPress—World Wide Web Technology Surveys just announced that WordPress powers more than 25 percent of all websites—and that can make it an easy target for hackers. It remains the most attacked platform, according to eWeek. However, third-party plugins can help boost its security.

Content capacity and management

Drupal can manage thousands of pages easily and is often recommended for complex, larger scale projects. It uses taxonomy to tag, categorize and structure content, which makes it easy to organize on both the front and back end of your site, particularly if you’re also using Drupal’s Workbench module, which simplifies the user interface for users who only work with content.

While WordPress can handle large volumes of content, it was originally designed as a blogging platform and you may find the backend doesn’t organize and manage content as well as you might like if you’re publishing hundreds of pages per week.

So, when you’re deciding what content management system is best for you, think about what you want to use your site for, and how you might want to grow it in the future.

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